Wednesday, April 13, 2011

they're everywhere!

My wife and I have a habit of running into Russians.  No, silly, not literally.  Then we would be badly bruised and battered, because physical contact with Russians either begets violence or sex.  And the former is relatively similar to the latter in their culture.  Believe me - look it up. (Warning: looking this up is a bad idea, and the claim almost certainly false)

So back to what I was saying.

We seem to meet Russians EVERYWHERE.  For example, we tend to walk around a lovely park in an area that has absolutely no connection to the Russian community here in NE Philly.  We stop for a sip of water at the water fountain, and there standing next to us is an older couple saying, "What's wrong with these two - they look ridiculous" in Russian.  Then we give them our best scary-person glare and they run away.

Another, more realistic example is from our honeymoon.  We were in the Roman Forum, which, if you haven't guessed, is in Rome, where we were looking over the entire forum from a sort of rocky outcropping.  Right there next to us there approached a woman with a video camera who was minding her own business, but filming the view from the outcropping.  Then, she started narrating the video, describing each building inside the forum with unbelievable accuracy and detail...all in Russian. 

Ok, we can handle one random Russian encounter.  But later on throughout the day, we began meeting more and more Russians.  At lunch, there was a couple eating at the cafe we were in.  On the bus, there was a tour group all blabbering away in Russian to each other.  It seemed like every single place that we went on our honeymoon was littered with Soviets.

Third and final example: We went to vacation in the Dominican Republic about two or three years ago.  It seemed like the ENTIRE RESORT was Russian. If I had to give a reasonable and honest estimate as to the percentage of nationalities of the guests of the resort, I would say there was about 60% Russian, 30% American, and 10% tarantula. 

I have a couple of theories as to why we can't seem to get away from them.

These are the Serious and Reasonable Theories

  1. We only choose places to go based upon an already Russian-leaning bias because my wife influences family decisions with her Russian-ness.
  2. We are more aware of Russian nationality due to any human's inherent desire to seek out like-minded and similar individuals.  If we were, say, Swedish, we would notice and "run into" Swedes more often.  Though not likely, because they can't go outside due to their pasty-white skin.
  3. A combination of Theories 1 and 2.
And these are the Ridiculous Fringe Theories (somewhat better theories, I think)
  1. The global population includes an overwhelmingly Russian component.  Thus the chances of a randomly chosen person being Russian greatly outweighs the chances of anything else.
  2. Russians tend to become stuck in time, thus creating "loops" where they will clump together in a temporal sense, not unlike a lumpy space-time gravy where they haven't worked out the flour clumps yet.
  3. Poorly disguised spies on location with authorization from the Government (which one, huh? that's for them to know...if they've got clearance)
  4. Russians tend to live in cramped one bedroom apartments in America as well as in Russia, and all over the world for that matter, so the desire for them to get outside so as not to feel like pickled herring in a tin can is overwhelming - thus it may just SEEM like the population of Russians is a larger part of the overall piece than it actually is.
  5. It may not just be the clumping of Russians, but the LACK of the clumping of Russian-hating ninjas, thus creating so called "safe zones" where Russians can go about their lives without the fear of Ninja attack.


  1. Fringe theory 2 is definitely my favorite. I enjoy gravy jokes...but this is quite the phenomenon!

  2. The problem is guys choose inherently Russian places to go. Let's do a rundown:

    1) NE Philly-Russian CENTRAL. No matter where you are in this area, you are guaranteed to run into some. It's kind of like, if you live in California, guaranteed earthquakes.
    2) Italy-Same deal. Italy/France are Russians' primary vacation destinations. Mainly because of Adriano Celentano. But also Al Bano and Romina Power. Everything else is dirty and disgusting and not as kulturniy. So obviously Italy.
    3) Dominican Republic-The OTHER Russian vacation destination. Because it's cheap, plenty of food, beaches, and clean, and no exotic (read: not white) foreign people. So you guys are three for three.

    If you really want to stop meeting Russians, you have to start going to the opposite of these places: expensive, not commonly known, and with lots of foreigners Russians are uncomfortable with. So basically, Stuff White People Like. Here's our list:

    1) Wegmans and Whole Foods (we don't actually buy anything here, we just go to get away from other Russians)
    2) The Main Line
    3) Countries like India (we didn't actually go yet, but you should have heard our parents when we were getting our vaccinations and times, fun times). We are also considering Sweden for our next vacation. While it is European and kulturnaya, it's also expensive, which is why there are no Russians. However, since we are also Russian, we are too cheap to go. Catch-22.
    4) Anything that requires you to pay for stuff you don't even want to do originally or can get for free; aka 5k race, volunteering time to charity, etc.

    Etc. Etc. It's a tough love strategy, but next time you don't hear, "Lenya, otkroi butilku! Pit tak ohoto!" you will be happy.

  3. I'm for fringe theory #5. Russian-hating ninjas are on strike right now for better wages & benefits since they said you all are starting infiltrate "other circles". What those circles are, my spies couldn't tell me ;)

  4. I'm a magnet for Albanians, which is frustrating, since I try and avoid places Albanians will be, yet they flock to me.

    It's disheartening.

  5. II vote for fring theory #4 because I hate herring

  6. Love your analytical mind.

    I miss that in the estrogen loaded bloggy world.

  7. I vote for a combo of all theories.


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